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I wish you abundant happiness, health & wealth

Posts Tagged ‘study

Reflection: Why grade inflation (even at Harvard) is a big problem

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Recently, I read an article arguing why grade inflation (even at Harvard) is a big problem.

From the perspective of a student,
having good grades is essential for securing jobs and admissions for further / graduate studies (MBA, PhD, JD, MD, etc).

The median grade for undergraduates in Harvard (and possibly elsewhere) is A- and its most frequently awarded grade is A. So, how can we distinguish excellent and good students?

Being students, we need to take extra efforts to distinguish themselves. Get involved in leadership / voluntary activities, take extra courses / majors / minors / online courses (and complete them!), spend a semester / a summer overseas / undertaking internships, if possible, set up a company (be an entrepreneur!)

From the perspective of an employer / a judge / a recruiter,
it is highly important to be aware of the grade inflation.
Compare students in the same batches. Minimize comparing students across batches.

"At a minimum, a college education should develop in graduates the knowledge, skills and character to lead successful lives. It should identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses, seeking to augment the former and diminish the latter. Grade inflation is harmful because it cheats students of the opportunity to understand what they do and don’t do well."

Written by blueroselady

December 22, 2013 at 6:50 am

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Learning preferences and strengths: sharing my method in 4 words

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Since we were born, we have started learning.
Learning and living are integral processes.

Different people have unique preferences and strengths in learning. The secret is to identify our own preferences and strengths,
and optimize them to develop our talents and creativity,
so that we can be of great service to others (while earning a livelihood simultaneously).

Here are quick reminders for myself to effectively, efficiently & effortlessly learn:

1. Intelligence = nature (genes) + nurture (environment). But, better methods / strategies for learning can boost up intelligence. In an analogy, before dyes and color contact lenses, hair color and eye color were entirely genetic too respectively.
2. Learn from how nature works, when one path gets shut down, we can take a different route.
3a. Must build construct / architecture / framework / blueprint. When we have a construct, we can solve difficult problems even when there is a lot of missing information.
3b. Must summarize / make notes.
4a. Must link concepts / ideas with visuals / feelings (synaesthesia).
4b. Try to link together ideas that do not normally connect (use metaphor / analogy). With patience & perseverance, we can connect any subjects.
5. Must use both: repetition / rote memorization + holistic relating / inter-linking.
6. Must create: write, draw, take photos, make videos.

In 4 words:

Summarize
Memorize
Link
Create

Final remark: I appreciate that my ability to understand things effortlessly is improving everyday.

See also:
http://zenhabits.net/how-to-learn-more-and-study-less/

Holistic Learning by Scott Young

Written by blueroselady

October 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

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Happiness exercise: write a short introduction about yourself

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In a series of happiness exercises, I brainstorm novel and creative ideas of doings that can boost up our happiness. Today exercise is simple: write a short introduction about yourself. You can memorize it to remind yourself when you experience negative emotions, to make new friends and build new relationships, or simply to make an elevator pitch.

Here is a brief introduction about myself.

I am an ordinary woman with a BIG dream to give extraordinary service to others.

My love include life, family, stories and writing. I dream of writing a book that is enlisted in The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers.

Everyday, I give my best to live and learn so that I can share useful tips about education and entrepreneurship / business,
that are thoughtful, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind.

I am also interested in people, travel, food (especially Asian food and Italian desserts), visual arts, movies and creative ideas.

Counting my blessings, I am grateful for being a mother, lifelong student, storyteller, researcher and marketer; and having good health and more wealth than the yesterday-me.

Thank you very much for being interested in me!

Please keep in touch and feel free to comment.

Written by blueroselady

October 11, 2013 at 6:23 am

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Reflections on Coursera: 7 reasons I love it

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This post is not a review of Coursera.

My sincere appreciation to Coursera for providing me an opportunity to learn many interesting subjects and to improve the quality of my life.

These are seven reasons I love it (as of summer 2013).

1. FREE.
Coursera courses are free as of summer 2013.
Some of the best things in life are free,
for example the love of parents to their children.

2. An opportunity to practice GRATITUDE.
According to Thomas Paine, human beings tend to take things for granted.
“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.
It is dearness only which gives everything its value.”
By being grateful, we can live happier and more fulfilling.

3. FLEXIBILITY.
The Coursera lectures are presented in short videos which are ideal for the following people:
workers who want to improve their knowledge and skills.
breastfeeding mothers who have to attend to young babies.
commuters who have to travel far on public transports.

4. SOCIAL & ECONOMIC ENABLERS for those who cannot afford to o for schooling due to their earlier life circumstances.
A friend of mine mentions that he prefers to hire those who have completed Coursera courses* (and are able to apply what they have learned) to those who present traditional educational certifications.
He reasons that those who strive to upgrade their knowledge & skills on their own initiative, need to put efforts & discipline.

* Statement of Accomplishment can prove that one has completed a Coursera course.

Indeed, MOOCs such as Coursera have a great potential to unlock career and educational opportunities, and find new life pathways for people of all ages regardless of current social economic background.

5. an opportunity to practice perseverance, discipline, the art of prioritizing (doing first thing first), and to experience the joy of learning.

Top Ten Reasons Students Didn’t Finish MOOC:

  • Takes too Much Time
  • Assumes Too Much Knowledge
  • Too Basic
  • Lecture Fatigue
  • Poor Course Design
  • Clunky Community/Communication Tools
  • Bad Peer Review & Trolls
  • Surprised by Hidden Costs
  • Shopping Around
  • Want to Learn, Nor for Credential

6. MEET NEW PEOPLE.
Coursera offers a community of fellow students / learners hailed from worldwide.
This satisfy human beings’ need to socialize.

7. ENTERTAINING.
Some of Coursera courses that I have attended have offered a delicious treat to our senses: visual, audio, tastes, odor, and touch.
For example,
(i) from the Coursera course on child nutrition & cooking instructed by Maya Adam (Stanford University),
I have learned how to cook delicious & healthy pasta with homemade sauce.
While watching me cooking in the kitchen, my baby experience the fragrant smell of pasta,
and in the near future he will be able to taste it too.
(ii) Coursera videos feature instructors from different regions worldwide (mostly Americans as of summer 2013).
These videos also serve as an avenue to learn e.g. American English.

What’s next?
Udacity
edX

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Written by blueroselady

June 2, 2013 at 6:34 am

Computer languages are likely to be the linguistic skills that make you outstanding

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This post was post-dated. I thought of this a day after the birthday of a woman I love and care. Although she is very serious, she can be very funny. Since she does not know English, and her children are all overseas pursuing better lives, so she has to start making overseas trip to see her children, especially when they need her.

There was a funny incident that made me laugh until stomachache.

Once, in a rush upon returning from hospital upon the arrival of her first grandchild, she thought that the free sample of Tollyjoy liquid wash for bottles, was meant for baby bath, simply because she does not understand English. So, she let her grandchild to bath with liquid was for bottles! Her daughter was over exhausted from delivery to early discover it until she saw why such a bottle was placed in the bathroom.

Even the father of the baby does not know this, I am the privileged one to be shared such a story. In future, as a potential mentor / consultant to the baby, I may tell her grandchild this story when the child refuses to learn something.

In Asia, if you know English, you can secure a good job (i.e. one with higher salary than average job).

Asians in English speaking cities in Asia (e.g. Hong Kong, Singapore) enjoy higher income (though it comes with higher expenditure as well), more choices in employment.

People in India also benefit from the global companies that take advantage of geo-arbitraging.
Though these outsourced employees earn less that employees in US, yet they earn more than people in India.

Not many Asians know English well, although the number is increasing. More Asian parents in China are sending their children to English speaking countries (US, UK, Australia). These generations of Asians are well versed in their mother tongues as well as the international language — English. Some of the ambitious ones even speak the third, the forth languages. A personal encounter was the high school age Korean girl who sat next to me on a flight to Canada. She speaks : Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese.

I am so thankful that by chance and choice, I have the opportunities to learn English. I am still learning everyday through reading and writing.

In my humble prediction, since more and more Asians are mastering English, a good command of English alone will no longer differentiate a talent.

The Pareto Law applies. When less people speak English, you are a rare talent. When more people speak English, you need to have additional skills to differentiate yourself.

One need additional language skills. Instead of another language, e.g. Chinese Mandarin (I think it is important too, but the Chinese are eagerly learning English) and Spanish, one can and must focus on computer languages.

Simply put, for the 21st century,
computer languages = English for people in non-English speaking countries in the 20th century.

Oh my goodness, my command of computer languages is far from acceptable.
After my project L in the 1st half of 2013,
it is time for me to improve my computer languages.

Written by blueroselady

February 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Bluerosesolady will not pay for her children's college costs

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Tamar Lewin of The New York Times wrote that "the more college money parents provided – whether in a absolute terms or as a share of total costs — the lower the children’s college grades."

Lesson 1:
"Everybody has always assumed that the more you give, the better your child does."
Blueroselady thinks that everything popular is not always right.

Lesson 2:
Do not give a blank cheque to your children.
Professor Laura Hamilton (UC Merced) suggested that "students who get a blank cheque from their parents may not take their education as seriously as others."
Blueroselady: Children are the ones who should write a blank cheque for their parents.

Lesson 3:
Both capital / cash and connections matter. Education alone is insufficient, especially if one’s grades are mediocre.
"Affluent families are not hurt most by the lower grades, because they had the connections to get their child a job."
Blueroselady personally hearts those middle-class parents who had worked hard, scrimped and saved, borrowed from family members, taken out loans, used up their retirement funds.

Lesson 4:
Parents, never use your retirement funds for your children’s college costs.
If they really desire to learn and go to college, they have to fight their own battles.

Lesson 5:
Setting goals is highly important.
Professor Laura Hamilton shared that she planned to pay for her children only after they talk about how much it costs and what grades she expect her children to achieve.
Blueroselady: It is important to set goals from early age, perhaps babyhood.

For more info:
More is More or More is Less?
Professor Laura Hamilton, UC Merced.

Written by blueroselady

January 17, 2013 at 1:38 am

First Monday of 2013

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Breakfast:
Cadburry chocolate milk. I added fresh milk.
strawberry yoghurt.
home-cooked luo han guo drink : a healthier substitute of sugar.
steamed egg with anchovies.

Brunch: chicken essence.

Lunch:
Fish&co
Grilled cod with black pepper sauce (I thought I was getting rice with vegetables as advertised, but I got mash potatoes)
Mushroom soup.
Orange juice.
Ice cream.
Listening to voice notes from my inspiring mentor NH on how to overcome fear.

Tea break:
Char Siew bread.
Shiroi Koibito / White Lover.
Walnut drink.
Steamed vegetable with olive oil.

Dinner:
Home-cooked dinner by Mom.

How to spend less $?
Dining at lunch time.
Dining on weekdays instead of weekend.
Beware that some promotional items may be less than the normal.

Activities:
@~@ Revised my notes from reading over 100 books in 2012.
@~@ Did shopping at Popular and Daiso. Less crowd means less stress.
@~@ Talked to Dad and Moms.

Very HOT. 35 degree C.
I put my hat off to those who work outdoor e.g. Construction workers. They risk sunburn and dehydration. Thank you!

Written by blueroselady

January 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm